Friday, August 12, 2016

Jesus Revealed the Distant and Mysterious God

“[Jesus said] “If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him – and have seen him!’ Philip said, ‘Sir, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus replied, ‘Don’t you even yet know who I am, Philip, even after all this time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say are not my own but are from my Father who lives in me. And he does his work through me. Just believe it – that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or else believe it because of the mighty miracles you have seen me do’
(John 14:7-11, The Living Bible)

The disciples’ response to Jesus’ statement about Himself reveals that they didn’t understand fully His divinity (I understand if the world also don’t get it yet). In this chapter 14 alone, Jesus describes three important aspects of His unique identity: 1) He and the Father share characteristics in such a way that if you has seen one has also seen the other; 2) He and the Father are united in such a way that when Jesus speaks the Father speaks; and 3) He claimed that any Christ-centred requests to God made in His Name will be answered.

To know Jesus is to know the Father. “No one has ever actually seen God, but, of course, his only Son has, for he is the companion of the Father and has told us all about him” (John 1:18). “Christ is the exact likeness of the unseen God” (Colossians 1:15). “God’s Son shines out with God’s glory, and all that God’s Son is and does marks him as God” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus insisted that because the disciples knew Him, they knew the Father already. It’s good to note that to the Jews, God was sovereign Creator, holy and separate from them. God loved and chose them, of course, but He was distant and mysterious (different but similar from Allah of Islam). In the Incarnation, however, God “became a human being and lived here on earth among us” (John 1:14). If you want to know what God is like, look to Jesus!

I’ve been thinking and praying about this statement from Jesus: “From now on you know [the Father]” What does it mean? I think, from that time forward – the moment Jesus said it – people could know the Father personally and intimately through the Son. Jesus is “the way” to God (14:6). This is strikingly amazing! God has revealed Himself generally in nature and specifically in the Scripture. But now – in the New Testament period – God has revealed Himself perfectly in His Son. If you want to know what God is like, you need only look at Jesus.

When you struggle with doubts about God and His love for you, look at Jesus.
When you need to get your values and priories straight, look at Jesus.
When you desire hope for the future, look at Jesus.

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